Alex Kurtzman really needs to make a Star Trek musical episode happen!
Dissension in the ranks? Nah, just a friendly disagreement. While Chad Porto thinks a musical Star Trek episode is a bad idea, I think it has the potential to be not only great but brilliant.
To paraphrase Captain Spock in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Chad proceeds from a false assumption. He seems to equate “musical” with “silly.”
Is some musical theater silly? Sure.
But musical theater’s a genre. And like other genres—including science fiction—it’s more than capable of being serious as well as silly, profound as well as playful. Sometimes it can even be both, and a lot more, all at the same time.
Granted, we don’t usually see people suddenly break into song and dance in real life. (Maybe we’re just hanging around the wrong people!)
But the conventions of a musical aren’t inherently more or less silly than any other genre’s conventions.
Besides, if any TV franchise deserves a first-rate musical episode, Star Trek does.
Here are five reasons why.
# 1 – A Star Trek musical episode could really slay ‘em
To again paraphrase Captain Spock (this time from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country), Chad must have faith the franchise will unfold as it must! And maybe that “must” includes a musical episode.
Chad cites Psych’s musical episode as evidence musical episodes are rarely any good. But he doesn’t mention the musical episode that sets the standard and inspires those who make other TV series, including Alex Kurtzman, want to try one in the first place: “Once More, with Feeling,” from season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
In the midst of the otherwise overwhelmingly bleak and grim slog that was BVtS’ penultimate year, “Once More, with Feeling”—in which a demon forces Sunnydale’s denizens to sing and dance their way through life on the Hellmouth—was and is a breathtakingly fresh, funny, and fiercely emotional exploration of its characters.
Writing for The Ringer, Miles Surrey and Kate Halliwell judge it “the best episode the series ever made.”
I enjoy Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard. But there’s no denying both these Star Trek shows know how to do bleak and grim. A well-done musical episode could be a wonderful way to shine more light into an otherwise dark plot arc.
Star Trek fans and TV critics alike might even remember such an episode as one of these series’ best for years to come, just as they still sing the praises of Buffy’s musical milestone.